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July 13, 2014



During Arthur Conan Doyle’s first tour of the United States, in 1894, he encountered a cabbie in Boston who declined his fare and asked instead for a ticket to that evening’s lecture. Surprised, Doyle asked how he had recognized him. The cabbie replied:
“If you will excuse other personal remarks, your coat lapels are badly twisted downward, where they have been grasped by the pertinacious New York reporters. Your hair has the Quakerish cut of a Philadelphia barber, and your hat, battered at the brim in front, shows where you have tightly grasped it, in the struggle to stand your ground at a Chicago literary luncheon. Your right overshoe has a large block of Buffalo mud just under the instep, the odor of a Utica cigar hangs about your clothing, and the overcoat itself shows the slovenly brushing of the porters of the through sleepers from Albany. The crumbs of doughnut on the top of your bag could only have come there in Springfield … and stenciled upon the very end of your walking stick, in fairly plain lettering, is the name Conan Doyle.”
Oh – Futility Closet

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 13, 2014 7:57 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Detection perfection!
Is 'Buffalo mud' the same as moist buffalo chips? And how did the cabbie ascertain that the walking stick had not been purloined from the real Conan Doyle?

Posted by: Stug Guts [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2014 11:57 AM

Seems like too good a story to be true...but I love it regardless. Thanks, Gerard.

Posted by: pst314 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 14, 2014 7:55 AM

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